Sweet Dreams

Having a good night's sleep takes more than just a bedtime.

Month: July 2011

The Perfect Pillow

To get a great night’s sleep, not only do you need a comfortable and supportive mattress, but also a pillow that supports your preferred sleeping position.  Any old pillow won’t do when it comes to properly supporting your neck and keeping it aligned with your spine.  Depending on which position you primarily sleep in, you should have a certain type of pillow.  Here are the most common sleeping positions and what type of pillow best supports them:

  • Side Sleeper: When sleeping on your side, you will need a thicker pillow to support the weight of your head and bring your neck up into alignment with your spine.  If you are a side sleeper and you are waking up with a sore neck in the morning, your pillow may be too flat.  Also, you may want to consider putting a leg pillow between your knees while sleeping on your side because that will keep your knees from coming together which puts strain on your lower back.
  • Stomach Sleeper: If you sleep on your stomach you shouldn’t really use a pillow, but if you need one make sure it is a thin pillow.  A pillow that is too full will elevate your head and bring your neck out of alignment from your spine.  For extra comfort and support take your pillow and place it under your hips, as you sleep on your stomach.  Doing so will raise your lower back and alleviate stress on it.
  • Back Sleeper: For maximum comfort and support while sleeping on your back, a pillow that is soft and on the thinner side will do the job.  A soft pillow will allow your head to sink into it, and while providing support, it will keep your neck and spine in natural alignment.  A pillow that is too thick or has no give will force your head up too high and cause you aches and pains in the morning.

There are also pillows that suit your lifestyle as well.  Here are pillows that can help solve some of your daily (nightly?) grievances:

  • Allergy sufferers: Instead of traditional down and feather pillows, try a latex pillow which is naturally hypoallergenic.
  • Music Listeners: If you like to fall asleep while listening to music but your roommate/partner prefers silence, then try a pillow with a speaker built right into it.  Plugging your MP3 player into the pillow will let you, and only you, listen to your music as your drift off to sleep, while your roommate/partner enjoys silence.
  • The Jet-Setter: If I’m leaving for a trip, I’ll never leave home without my travel pillow.  I have one that fits around my neck which is great because every time I fall asleep en route, my head rolls back and it’s actually supported by a pillow.  I recommend to anyone who travels, even if it’s just once a year, to get a travel pillow so that you can be comfortable and supported when you fall asleep.

So now you have the perfect pillow that fulfills your needs, but how do you take care of it?  For washing instructions read the manufacturers label on the pillow.  Follow what those instructions say diligently to maximize the lifespan of your pillow.  Depending on the quality of the pillow, you may need to replace it anywhere from 6 months up to 2 years.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret tip on how to tell when your pillow needs replacing.  Fold your pillow in half and then place a book on top of your folded pillow.  If your pillow bounces back to regular form, then it is fine.  But if your pillow stays folded in half, then it is time to get a new pillow.

There you have it! Now you’re fully informed and can go out and find your perfect pillow and enjoy a great night’s sleep.


Contributor: Emily Barrett

Every Commuters’ Dream: A Vertical Mattress

When you’re waiting for a bus or a train, don’t you feel like it takes forever to get there?  Don’t you wish you could just take a nap and when you wake up your transportation has arrived?  Well, waiting for the bus just got a lot more enjoyable.

How boring...

Designer Jamie O’Shea has created a snooze-worthy apparatus called The Vertical Bed.  This device allows its user to remain standing while napping.  The user puts on this contraption that hooks to the subway grates for stabilization and comes equipped with dark sunglasses, headphones that cancel noise and an umbrella that hooks up to the device in case you feel like taking a nap in the rain.

Close, but not quite.

When you’re done napping The Vertical Bed folds up neatly into an average sized briefcase making it easy to store and transport.  The designer gave his invention a test run and found himself in a deep 40 minute nap in the middle of New York City.  I have got to get my hands on this napping tool!  Do you think you could nap while standing up?

Could you nap like this?


Contributor: Emily Barrett

Improve Your Game, With Sleep? Athletes Take Note!

You may be on summer vacation right now, but before you know it, it will be preseason time and you’ll be on the field faster than you can say “back to school.”  Have you already started some preliminary training?  Perhaps you’re starting to run around your block a couple of times, or maybe you’ve been lifting your little brother over your head to build some muscle that was lost over break.  Regardless of your current program, the number one thing you should be practicing while in season is getting good sleep on a quality mattress.  Yes, you read that right, I said you should sleep to improve your game.

No silly, not like that!

If you don’t believe me, check this out:

Cheri Mah is an assistant to Dr. Bill Dement who is a sleep researcher at Stanford University.  Their team is studying the effects of sleep on athletes, and they are one of the only research groups in the U.S. doing this.  Their most recent study analyzed the University’s men’s basketball team during a period when eleven players were getting 10+ hours of sleep each night.  After the testing was completed, Mah found that the players were feeling more energized, sprinting faster and had improved shooting accuracy.  The test concluded that for athletes, getting more sleep at night will improve their performance. 

I’m not saying skip out on practice because all you need is sleep; that would be ridiculous and probably get you kicked off of the team.  When you’re sleeping, your body is repairing itself from your actions throughout the day, and when you’re an athlete your body needs extra time to repair itself from the strenuous workout.  All I’m suggesting is that instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning texting, video gaming or Facebooking, turn off your electronic devices and call it an early night so that you get a sufficient amount of sleep.

TIP: Turning off ALL electronics at least one hour before your bedtime will make it easier for your body to relax and then fall asleep.  Do yourself a favor, TURN OFF THE CELL PHONE!


Contributor: Emily Barrett

Decoding Mattress Shopping

EPT, LXF and UPEPT oh my!  When the time has come to purchase a new mattress, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of acronyms that further describe the mattress you’re researching.  My mom tells me that back in the day that there were only two ways to define a mattress: hard or soft.  Now there seems to be so many confusing options!

I’m here to decode the cryptic acronyms of mattress shopping and help you find that perfect mattress with ease.  Grab your pen and paper because class is in session!

  • TT: Tight Top – Refers to standard non-pillow top mattresses.
  • PT: Pillow Top – A mattress made with extra cushioning layers on top for an extra plush feel.
  • ET: Euro Top – A type of pillow top mattress where the extra comfort layer is sewn directly into the mattress, rather than constructed as a separate piece. This special tailoring enhances edge support and prevents slide-off.
  • BT: Box Top Mattresses – A type of pillow top mattress with an extra comfort layer squared off on edges with a gusset.
  • FM: Firm – Typically a hard mattress, which provides a lot of support but does not have much cushioning.  This is not recommended for the side sleeper, although if it meets your comfort requirement then that is all that matters.
  • PL: Plush – Typically, plush mattresses are firm mattresses, but the manufacturer did not sew down the top of the fabric as tightly.
  • CF: Cushion Firm – This is usually just slightly softer than a hard mattress, I would say that it’s somewhere in between a firm and plush.
  • PLUPT: Plush Euro Pillow Top – The plush euro pillow top mattress is a soft “fall into” mattress, typically that has very good padding and layers to keep your spine straight while giving you that feeling that you are sleeping on a cloud.
  • EPT: Euro Pillow Top – This is a mattress that will have a thick pillow top, more so than just the standard topper.
  • PL/FM: Plush Firm – Another way of saying CF, Cushion Firm.
  • UF: Ultra Firm – Grab a piece of the floor because that is what ultra firm mattresses feel like!
  • UP: Ultra Plush – This is the plushest mattress available and is typically thicker than most mattresses because of the additional comfort layers (which may require some extra muscle when it comes time to rotate this mattress).
  • LXF: Luxury Firm – A hard mattress that has just a tiny bit more padding, similar to the PL/FM but harder.
  • LXPL: Luxury Plush – Similar to Ultra Plush mattress, but a bit harder.
  • UPEPT: Ultra Plush Euro Pillow Top – You can dive into this mattress like water!  It’s very soft, sumptuous and engulfing.

What feels like a Plush Euro Pillow Top Mattress to your Dad may feel like a Cushion Firm Mattress to your Mom and Plush Firm Mattress to your brother.  So at the end of the day, you’re going to need to go to Sleepy’s to test out each mattress yourself because only you will be able to tell which type of mattress will give you the right support and comfort for a great night’s sleep.

Remember: When testing mattresses, make sure to allot enough time for your visit because it is recommended to spend at least 15 minutes on each mattress, lying in your natural sleeping position, so you’ll know how the mattress will truly feel.  Also, bring some reading material with you and test out the mattress in the position that you would either read or watch TV in.


Contributor: Emily Barrett

The Fundamentals on Foundations

There are three basic types of foundations to accommodate your new mattress; traditional support foundations (standard), adjustable foundations (AKA ergo) and storage foundations.  Each type of foundation has their own benefits, so let’s find what will work for you.


The Standard Box is exactly that, standard.  The standard box spring is about 8.5 to 10 inches high and can be made up of either wood (non-yielding), partial steel (semiflex) or high yielding. The Low Profile is four inches lower than the standard box, coming in at a height between 5 and 5.5 inches.  Even though there is a height difference, there is NO difference when it comes to the support that it provides.  Because the low profile doesn’t add as much height to your mattress as a standard box, it is great for kids, older people, people with a disability or an injury, people who are on the shorter side and your older/smaller furry friends (if you allow your pets in your bed, of course).  If you find yourself having difficulty getting on to the mattress at the showroom, you should definitely consider getting a low profile foundation to make it easier when you get your new mattress home. The Split Box is a foundation that is made up of two separate box springs that go side-by-side.  It is a good decision to get a split box to make delivery easier if you have say a narrow doorway or staircase.  Just so you know, all King mattresses require a split box.  It should also be noted that you make sure it is completely necessary to get a split box because the cost will be higher (after all, you are getting two box springs). 

Then there is the Adjustable/Power Base foundation which compliments an adjustable bed.  The adjustable base can mimic any position of your adjustable mattress with a remote control and it’s compatible with most mattresses.  The benefits of an adjustable base can reduce lower back pain and improve breathing.  The adjustable base also comes in either low profile or standard and is commonly referred to as the Ergo system

I saved my personal favorite for last, the Sto-A-Way Mattress Foundation.  I think that this foundation is a must-have for college students or someone living in a small apartment in a city.  The Sto-A-Way has four drawers built into the base, two on each side (unless you get the twin size, and in that case, there are two drawers but they are reversible).  These drawers come sanded and lacquered so that you can put your most delicate clothing in them without having to worry about snagging.  The drawers are so big that they give you the space of your average six drawer dresser (about 7.5 cubic feet of storage).  These drawers are durable too; they can hold up to 80 pounds!  And to top it all off, it’s aesthetically pleasing, being a neutral color, it will be a close match to any mattress.  Had I known about the Sto-A-Way base back in college, my life would’ve been made much easier (and cleaner).

So there you go, the basics of the base of your new mattress, the foundation.  When you’re building the perfect bed you can’t forget the importance of having a solid foundation that will not only support you but also complete your perfect mattress set.


Contributor: Emily Barrett

The New and Improved Sealy Mattress Commercials

Is anyone enjoying the latest Sleepy’s commercial featuring Sealy mattresses as much as I am?  If you haven’t seen it yet or if you need a quick refresher, here you go:

It has all the components of a great commercial – fun music, gravity-defying visuals, and of course, a sense of humor.  The video alone has over 51,000 views on YouTube since last week.  Who would’ve thought that people would want to watch a mattress commercial (even more than once)?

Just to show you how far mattress commercials have come, check out this vintage Sealy commercial from 1979:

You don’t even know that it’s a mattress commercial until the very end of it!  What does running in a park and hopscotch even have to do with a mattress?  If there was a “Most Improved” award for commercials, hands down my vote would go to Sealy.  They are making mattresses more desirable with these new commercials that evoke an emotion from you.  If you read some of the comments on YouTube for the “Jump” video, you’ll see that people are loving the song and want to get the mattress.

Sealy deserves some serious credit for their revamped commercials; it is a job very well done and mirrors the quality of their mattresses that they have been producing since day one.

Sealy has been a front runner when it comes to incorporating the newest technologies into their mattresses.  The latest line of Sealy Posturepedics offer a variety of comfort layers.  For example, the Sealy Posturepedic Supreme Firm Euro Pillow Top has eight different layers of comfort!  Being made up of layers of latexes, memory foams and Sealy foams, this mattress is made to provide you with comfort and support.  Sleepy’s, in its quest to provide more value to their customers, have added to their line of Sealy Posturepedics an additional comfort layer, the Sleepy’s Latex BackSaver Support Core Plus; a snooze-worthy addition if you ask me.  But don’t take my word for it, go try it out yourself at any of our 700+ showrooms or use the store locator to find the closest one to you.

BONUS VIDEO: This video has over 1.1 million views!

Contributor: Emily Barrett

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